This morning, Mia had a breakfast meeting with her brilliant intern. They sipped on java coolers as they discussed the past couple weeks and upcoming deadlines. At the end of the meeting the intern asked for some tips on how to make the most of this opportunity with the time she had left. Mia remembered, fondly, of how beneficial and enriching her summer internship was at the firm and happily offered some advice.
At this point in the summer, interns have learned how to work the coffee machine, know who to call when the copier is jammed and have maybe completed a project or two. So she started with some advice she had received from her own mentor a few years ago:
Be a sponge. Absorb everything that comes at you. Attend all the meetings and take diligent notes. Be observant of the way things are run and ask as many questions as you can. There is no such thing as a stupid question and if someone says there is then ask someone else. You won’t realize it now but every little thing you absorb, will prove to be useful later on.
Next, never stop wanting to learn. Learn from your peers, read blogs every day, watch some webinars, learn how to convert files, become a real expert at excel and everything in between. That’s the whole point of this internship. To learn as much as possible so that when you update your resume (another piece of advice) and start applying to full time jobs after graduation, you’ll feel confident in your abilities.
Ask for more. If you finish a project, ask for the next. Always accept more challenges. If there isn’t anything else to do, brainstorm some ideas for yourself. Can you write a new blog? Can you look up an article that might be helpful somewhere? Can you find a new way to reach a certain demographic? Then do it! This will show your employer and your mentor that you’re dedicated to the company and want to do whatever it takes.
Lastly, ask for a letter of recommendation and say thank you. That letter will be your greatest asset as you move forward in your career. Future employers will value feedback from your internship because it will show your work ethic and your passion for the field. And saying thank you or writing a little note is polite and an important gesture to show your gratitude for the opportunity.
You were hand-picked to be here because the firm saw potential in you. Don’t waste it by checking your Facebook every 10 minutes or showing up late to the office. Do something that will leave a lasting impression and have them talking about you for years to come.